No one replies. We’re all huffing, grunting, moaning, and trying to get my father out of the black hole he was in. It takes us a while, but finally we manage to do it.
I adjust my father’s body onto the dirty floor, and immediately reach for his pulse. I can barely feel it, but it’s still there.
“He’s alive,” I whisper, overwhelmed with joy and relief.
“He needs to go to the hospital,” Fynn neglects what I said. “Now.”
The flashlight points at his stomach. His shirt is stained with caked blood. There is so much of it.
“Let’s get him to the car,” Anderson urges us.
Fynn and Anderson manage to prop my father up on his feet, with his hands over each of their shoulders. We walk back to the car slowly, dragging my father’s unconscious body, as I run around them, feeling like
there is nothing I can do but burst out into tears. But, that would only make things worse.
We found him – that’s what matters. Now, we need to focus on getting him to the hospital on time, and saving his life.
The white lights of the hospital are too bright. My eyes hurt and my whole body is aching for a good night’s rest, but I know that even if I lay down, I won’t be able to fall asleep. Not while my father is lying in a hospital bed, with all those tubes sticking out of his body, tying him up to the machines.
“Want me to go get you another coffee?” I hear Anderson offer, as he gets up from his seat.
Fynn is sitting opposite us, his head buried in his hands. To some passer-by, it looks like he might be sleeping, but I know he’s not.
“Their coffee’s crap,” I mumble. “But, yeah, I want one.”
He smiles at me, squeezes my shoulder gently, and then walks away. The images of seeing my dad dragged out of that hole in the ground, barely alive, will haunt me for as long as I’m living. I know that. But, all I need is for him to stay with me, so I can build more memories, and so I can forgive him. So, I can forgive myself.
I get up and walk over to Fynn. He doesn’t lift his gaze, even though he knows I’m sitting next to him.
“We found him,” I tell him, as if it’s news and he has no idea.
Only now does he look up at me. “But, look at the condition we found him in.”
“My dad is a tough guy,” I smile, trying to convince us both of this. “He’ll make it.”
“We were supposed to make sure this didn’t happen,” Fynn tells me.
“Listen to me now,” I suddenly take his hands into mine forcefully, like I’m taking back something that was always mine, but he only held it for a little while. “This isn’t your fault. It’s not. You did exactly what you were supposed to do and exactly how you were supposed to do it. It’s only thanks to you and Anderson that I’m alive, that my dad is finally safe in a hospital, and he can start healing.”
He doesn’t say anything to that. He only shakes his head. I know he doesn’t believe me.
“I didn’t do my job. I failed you again. I failed all of you.”
“That’s not true,” I assure him. “You can’t be held responsible for everything someone else does. It’s not your responsibility to predict the actions of others.”
“But, it is to try and counteract them. That’s my job as a cop.”
“And, you did exactly that!”
“You saved me. It wasn’t the other way around,” he looks down, as if he’s ashamed of this.
His reaction makes me sad. Not because I wanted him to be all grateful, but I simply wanted him to appreciate what I had done. I wanted him to realize how much it took of myself to do that. However, he doesn’t feel anything apart from remorse.
“I’m sorry you see it that way,” I whisper. “In the end, does it really matter who saves who, if the good guys win?”
I don’t wait for him to reply. Instead, I get up and see Anderson walking over with three cups of that poor excuse of a coffee in his hands.